Musical Night and visit to the Church

Posted March 31st, 2002 by Deepa and filed in Uncategorized
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I am writing early although the weekend is not technically over. That’s because I am going to be tremendously busy the coming week. This Friday Was Subbu’s birthday. Vrushali had baked a HUGE chocolate cake for him and we celebrated his birthday in true C’Ville Desi style: Cut the cake and while a few of us cut the cake the others take turn in giving birthday bumps. Now these bumps are not casual plonking of the birthday boy( in this case) .It consists of 3 or 4 people (depending on the size of the birthday person) holding him while the others kick him with their foot ,footwear ,knee and in some cases hand too!! Then we smear a generous portion of the cake on his/her face taking care that all pores of the face are covered with cake. Then a bottle of wine to end it all with.
Subbu ‘s birthday even had songs and dances ’cos it was the eve of the “India Day” and Subbu and Vrushali and a few others were performing the rehearsal of the dance medley.
The actual India day bought the realization that C’ville has too many desis and all they know to perform are filmi dances and all the songs the know can be listed as

1) Songs from K3g( they even had a few sharara clad girls miming on the title song! Shava Shava and Soniya was performed many times over)
2) Chaiyya Chaiyya
3) Mehbooba (Fiza)
4) Ayo re maro Dholna
Period!!!

At the end of the 3 hour song and dance routine seeing the same group change their dresses over and over and perform the same steps to almost the same tune I was pretty saturated. To top it all I was hungry because I went there directly from the lab and ddn’t have time to eat anything ( another reason was Ithought there would be free Indian food there…but it wasn’t there

There was Siddharth’s engagement party to look forward to though! His (to be) fiancée and saas and sasur ( or he introduced them as my new set of parents!) were there and we acted as the proper ladke wala people and asked the ladki to show a sample of her cooking skills ,(which she deputized her mother to perform, …there was chicken,beans ,palak dal,jeera rice and mithais!) ,her vocal skills ( she sang ajeeb dastan hai hai, and another song from RHTDM and reasonably well) and then all of us contributed to their future marital harmony by giving her tips on how to treat Siddharth

Next went home to sleep ..there was a long day at office on Sunday and we (Subha , Priya and I) had decided to attend church services for Easter. We wanted to attend a Baptist church (read predominantly Black church) services .Got up early morning ,dressed ( interesting point …don’t have church wearing clothes ..cos jeans are out and formals are too formal!)Ok here is how it was :

We reached there and was greeted at the door by this HUGE woman who gave us a tight hug and wished us sisters a happy Easter. Then we were greeted by another guy who shook hands and wished us a happy easter. Then another lady hugged us and wished us a happy easter and showed us to our seats. Before we could realize where we were the service started with a woman screaming Praise the lord Praise the Lord and a all the others Screaming Halleluiah and Amen. Couldn’t really make out when to yell Halleliuah and when Amen. There was a hymn (wordings were displayed with a help of a projector on the wall ) and the entire church was dancing to the foot tapping music.

There were 3 or 4 hymns and suddenly there were these white ” fairy-like” dress clad young girls who burst on the stage and started dancing to yet another hymn. It was a well choreographed song and she was dancing well and with the entire congregation tapping their foot and clapping their hands. It was very energetic!

The tone changed and yet another female came on the stage and started screaming about the “Lord God” and then every few seconds the people present raised their right hand and acted as though they were patting a person in front of them. This ritual followed for some time before the preacher took his place and started exhorting all non believers to believe,believers to love everybody and the usual stuff like that. What was different was the way he said it. He was yelling at some places stomping all over the stage , becoming emotional and suddenly energetic again and it was pure drama!!( which was the topic of the sermon by the way ..how human being s love drama and all what we do is just a drama and so on!)

What struck me as funny was was last year I attended the Roman Catholic church . Their service was so solemn and so “boring” that I was dozing halfway thru it. Seejo literally had to prod me twice to keep me awake . Their preacher delivered the sermon in clear concise measured tone and all the congregation murmured polite Amens and praise be to god at appropriate moments ,got up when asked ,sat down when indicated and were on their best behavior

Here on the other hand you could sit stand or dance as you wanted, the preacher enjoyed a dramatic oration, another female got hysterical trying to exhort us to praise the lord , the congregations yelled Halleluiah and praise the lord and Amen whenever they could . Raised their right arms and did some sort of waving with that ….

During the sermon there is a point when it comes “Turn to your neighbor and make the sign of peace” In the RC church you shake hands with the person who sits in front/behind/either side of you but here you turn and give that neighbor an BIG hug.

(Note: what do we do in India?? : We fold our hands and do a demure Namaste!!)

I really enjoyed it! (especially cos I know I don’t have to do it again!!)

Current Books

1) Washington DC ( Vidal Gore)
2) Forrest Gump
3) Of Human Bondage (Somerset Maugham) ( third time !!)

Websites

2) http://homepage.mac.com/nutmeghan/wodehouse.html (checking up on the Wodehouse novels I still have to read!)
3) http://www.javedakhtar.com/tarkash/ (re reading Tarkash)

Discovery of the week:

Tapioca Root is the basic raw material for Sabudana . Tapioca (called Kappa or kolli in Malayalam ) is the poor man’s food . and Tapioca pudding tastes good ( thanks to Aparna for that info!)

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